NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – A vastly new and improved library/media center at Roberts Elementary was the centerpiece of last night’s Board of Education meeting.
“This project is an example of how a shared vision and the coordination of resources from a variety of stake holders could produce a warm and stimulating environment for all students to use now and in the future while being fiscally responsible to the entire community,” Principal Gina Hansen said.
Almost half of the $70,500 upgrade was provided the Roberts’ PTA, 6th grade students and grants from the New Providence Education Foundation. The remainder came from the Board of Education.
The Roberts PTA through its annual “Spring Fling” fundraiser donated approximately $21,000 for furniture, circulation desk, table, chairs, pillows, accent items and painting.
Roberts also received two Education Foundation grants for an iPad Cart and a Smartboard with projector. The grant was approximately $8,350.
The 2012 Roberts 6th grade class donated $1,200 for the construction of the younger children’s’ nook.
The Board of Education provided $40,000 to upgrade technology in the library during the summer of 2012.
Not all donations were monetary. Ms. Hansen was quick to note the efforts of several volunteers who worked hard to have all of the books in place for students on the first day of the 2012 school year.
“The library has been filled with children enjoying the new renovations since day one,” Ms. Hansen said. She noted that students have embraced the new layout and book circulation and library use has increased.
During the board meeting, conversation also turned toward New Providence High School receiving the top state ranking by New Jersey Monthly Magazine.
“We’ve really enjoyed some exciting successes over the last five or six years,” School Superintendent Dr. David Miceli said. He added that a major contributor is increased community involvement and as a result the district is seeing significant student improvement.
Board President John Wolak said the number one ranking couldn't help but boost teacher, student and community morale throughout the district. “It’s a celebration of student success for all stakeholders,” he added.
While the evening was punctuated by applause and loud cheers, there was still some room for laughs.
Board Member William Dibble told the audience that his mother who lives in Matawan purchased 50 copies of New Jersey Monthly to distribute to friends and neighbors while emphasizing that her son is a member of the New Providence Board of Education. “She only has a few copies left,” Dibble said.